By EVAN S. LEVINE, M.D. F.A.C.C.
A fifty-year-old man struggles to keep his breath, after shoveling snow, and tells his wife that it feels as if someone is sitting on his chest. He is drenched in perspiration even while it is cool inside his home. His wife calls 911 and within an hour the artery, that had abruptly closed, is opened by a cardiologist who places a fine metallic stent in his coronary artery. This is the best of cardiovascular care in America, one we paid about $444 billion for in 2010, almost one dollar for every six dollars spent in healthcare in the US.
By JOHN SIMON
I have been occasionally impressed with plays about politics, but this may be the first one I actually loved. And don’t for a moment fear that this is a piece of dry-as-dust dramatized history, although it is a history play about the early phase of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s presidency. But it is much more than what that implies.
TECHNOLOGY CREATIVE DISRUPTION
By JOHN F. McMULLEN
About a year ago, the 50th column in this series began “The columns are concerned with the general theme of “Creative Disruption” – impact, positive and negative, that technological innovation has had on us, individually and as a society. Technology, since the invention of the wheel, has had profound impact even though, particularly in our time, its impact may not be noticed until it affects us personally. The main difference that we have seen in the late 20th Century and early 21st is the constantly accelerating rate of this innovation. The mega-inventions of the early 20th Century – the automobile, the telephone, and the airplane – took generations to reach critical mass and improvements in these areas were incremental, not revolutionary until close to the end of the century. Current generations have seen two, three, four, even five revolutionary changes in their lifetime (ex. records, 8-Tracks, cassettes, CDs, mp3s). These revolutionary changes require work forces with different skills, different manufacturing processes and different distribution channels and methods – and, if we are not directly involved in these fields, we may not be aware of the changes until we notice that the local Tower Records or Borders is no more, or that there are no longer film processing stores in the mall – or, worse, that the house next door belonging to an engineering executive at Kodak has been re-possessed.”